There are many reasons to add text to a picture.
Are you are a blogger? Adding a few words to your featured images is a quick and easy way to make them unique as well as highly communicative.
You can use text tools to add a credit line to an image, instead of a separate caption line under it to prevent copying.
On social media, adding words to your photos can make them more engaging and fun. Or you might want to add an inspirational quote to an image. Both ways will help you get more shares and likes.
Do you want to put some words on a photo or image?
For authors, adding a little text to a picture in your book or ebook is an easy way to include credits or add useful annotations.
For whatever reason, when you want to add text to your images, you want to do it quickly and easily and preferably with a free app.
I have tried using a photo editor. But Photoshop and Gimp are not easy to learn how to use. So it’s too slow and difficult.
I much prefer to use a free tool or app that has no learning curve, so I can rapidly add a title and then get on with writing.
Here are some of the fastest and easiest add text to photo free tools I have found. With them, you can quickly and simply put some words on any of your images or photos.
Without a doubt, Canva is my go-to online application to quickly upload an image and add text to photo.
The text editor is easy to use and has a huge range of fonts. Just click Text in the sidebar menu and type your text.
There are options to format text to change the font colour and size as well as to adjust line spacing.
It is easy to move your text box by drag and drop to your preferred location.
You can upload your own photos or images. Or you might find the perfect image for you from Canva’s very good selection of free images.
It is not a photo editing app, but you can change your image with filters for fun effects. You can also crop, resize and flip your images.
Best of all it is a super easy image and text tool and free for you to use. You don’t need any technical skills at all to have fun with Canva.
After you discover how to overlay text on your images, you will discover that there lots of other things you can do with this great free app.
Word Swag will suit you if you are looking for a fun mobile app for iOS and Android on your app store.
You can pop anything onto your images with just a few taps on your phone or tablet.
Best of all, it comes with a huge range of fonts and ideas for you to choose from.
Not sure what to write on your image?
No problem because Word Swag has hundreds of quotes and jokes that you can use and share on social media.
Look at some of the examples below of how to add different styles of text to your pictures. It looks like a lot of fun.
Microsoft Paint (PC) & Preview (macOS)
Paint comes installed on all Windows computers, and it is so easy to use.
All you need to do is add a text box, adjust the font properties, and you are done.
It is not fancy. But it is effective enough for you to quickly add basic text.
On Apple computers, the Preview app is a little more refined but is still limited to adding a text box.
If you are not familiar with Preview, it is not so obvious where and how you can do it.
Open the photo and then you need to go to the top menu, then select Tools> Annotate> Text. Double click the text box to format your text.
The advantage with both Paint and Preview is that you can easily resize your images before you add your words.
Both tools are free and come pre-installed, so they are already at your fingertips and make it easy to overlay text on pictures.
AddText is a free online app for basic functions. But if you want to do more, there is a premium version.
Again, it is simply a matter of uploading your photo or image and then using the basic editing box to add your line of type and then save your work.
There are no fancy tools, except to simply add some font candy to your photo or image.
So while it has limitations, you will not need to learn anything new at all.
Meme Maker by ImgFlip
Why not have some fun on social media and make a meme?
Meme Maker is simple to use. It’s a great little app for adding texts to photos. All you need to do is fire up your imagination.
You can choose from a bundle of free templates, or you can upload and add a little fun to your own pictures.
There is a small watermark on the free version, but that is probably not going to concern you or spoil your fun.
PicFont has been around for a long time.
It is a basic photo text editor but has one advantage in that you can quickly resize images inside the editor.
There is a good choice of font files in the tool, but the user interface can be a little confusing to start with.
However, once you get used to which buttons to click it is not so bad. You can download your finished images in jpeg and png.
Microsoft Word and Apple Pages
For authors, Word and Pages are the two best applications for adding text to images that are within a manuscript.
Because images need to be correctly formatted when added to a book, it is better to keep everything “in-house” and work within your word processor.
They are not free as is the case with the five applications above. But most authors have either or both of these software packages already installed.
Neither of them has anything fancy when it comes to adding text, but in most cases, you will only want to add a little information or photo credits.
The only precaution you need to take is to make sure that you reduce the size of your images BEFORE you insert them into your document.
This is especially important if you are publishing on Kindle because Amazon charges a delivery fee based on your ebook file size.
You should always size your images to the dimensions to fit your book and then use an image compressor to reduce the file size.
In Word, you need to insert your image and then add a text box. Make sure you format it to the setting In Front Of Text. Then you can position it by dragging.
In Pages, you follow the same process.
However, be sure to check that you set the text box format to None. Then, as with Word, you can click and drag and your text box into position.
Both programs allow you to do some basic photo editing, which is an advantage.
There are hundreds of uses for adding text to images or photos.
Some are for purely professional uses such as blogging or book publishing, while some are just plain fun.
All of the applications above can do one or both.
The only reservation is that none of them can produce high-resolution images. So never try to use them for book covers of where you need images with very high definition.
If you need to combine text with large, high-quality images, use quality photo apps such as Photoshop or Gimp, or contact a graphic designer to help you.
Apart from that, bookmark the online apps above to have them on hand when you need them.
You might also want to experiment with Paint or Preview and Word or Pages so you will be ready to go next time you need to use them to put text over an image or a picture within a document.
I started my working life as a lithographer and then spent over 30 years in the printing and publishing business.
Originally from Australia, I moved to Switzerland 20 years ago. My days are spent teaching English, writing and wrestling with technology while enjoying my glorious view of the Alps.
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